One day after the Red Sox completed a deal for pitcher Erik Bedard, a report has come out that Clay Buchholz has a stress fracture in his lower back and is likely to miss the rest of the season.
Buchholz, who has been out since June 15, is scheduled to meet with back specialist Dr. Thomas Watkins in Los Angeles on Monday. According to CSNNE's Sean McAdam, Watkins is expected to confirm a previous diagnosis of the stress fracture.
Buchholz last tested the back a week ago, throwing off the mound in the Fenway Park bullpen. Afterward, he reported feeling "a little soreness" that felt better after a couple of stretches. When additional soreness occurred the next day, he had an MRI that reportedly revealed the stress fracture.
A source told WEEI.com's Alex Speier last week that the team was fearful the injury was structural, perhaps related to a bone, rather than muscular. Sox GM Theo Epstein acknowledged the team's concern about the pitcher on Sunday.
"Clearly, we have some concern for Clay. It’s been almost a couple months now, which is longer than we expected it to be," said Epstein. "We’re still waiting for some more feedback and another opinion. I think we have a feel for what might be going on. Clay is seeing another expert for his opinion, then we’re all going to put our heads together early this week.
"Any time a pitcher of his caliber is not on the mound for a while, throws a side as he did on Monday but can’t necessarily back it up with another side, get out there on a rehab assignment, there’s some concern. We think we’re in the process of getting to the bottom of it. We’re all going to put our heads together early this week and talk about it with Clay before we discuss it publicly.
"But sure, to answer your question directly, there’s always concern when your best players can’t be on the field."
Assuming the diagnosis of a stress fracture is confirmed, Buchholz is not expected to need surgery for the injury.
For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.
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